Mastery-Based Grading Over the past few years, Draper Park Middle School has transitioned to a mastery-based grading model, wherein students are assigned letter grades that more accurately reflect each student’s level of concept mastery in a given subject, i.e., math, science, ELA, etc. Essentially, this means that earned grades are based mostly on a student’s performance on summative assessments. In a pure mastery-based grading system, homework and practice are not included in a student’s overall grade because homework and practice are part of the process of gaining knowledge and not the possession of knowledge itself. It is understood, however, that classwork, practice, and homework are necessary elements of high academic achievement and are very important and indeed crucial to a student’s success in school. Teachers do expect their students to work rigorously and meaningfully on assigned activities, classwork, practice, and homework in an effort to master important concepts. It is unlikely that a student will achieve maximum academic success without wholly engaging the curriculum both in the classroom and at home. At DPMS summative assessments in the form of quizzes, tests, and comprehensive exams will account for 90%, or more, of a student’s course grade. Follow this link to learn more about standards/mastery based grading. LEARN MORE In a mastery-based grading model, a student’s grade is a true representation of what a student actually knows and understands. At DPMS, we are laser focused on the end product—how the student has mastered the stated learning objectives. Homework assignments and skills practice become meaningful opportunities for students to learn and master concepts, but it is the formative and summative assessments that inform educators as to whether or not a student has indeed mastered a concept. We do not grade based on a student’s personal struggle to gain knowledge (i.e, homework, practice, research, study, etc.), rather we grade based on a student’s level of concept mastery as demonstrated and proved through a series of assessments, which ensure the fidelity of achievement data, and therefore provide an accurate representation of a students progress. Mastery learning is a data driven process wherein teachers continually evaluate student achievement data to inform and adjust their instruction along the way to more effectively accommodate the learning needs of their students. The goal, of course, is to ensure all students meet their full learning potential by increasing their depth of knowledge and understanding. This requires teachers to create specific and strategically crafted lesson plans that wholly engage the learner, provide learners with opportunities to respond, and provide meaningful feedback within instructional cycles.